Don’t master AI skills, master the RIGHT AI skills
AI. Artificial intelligence.
The above two-letter acronym and two-word term have been ever popular among humankind. For some, it has been a profession where they explored the possibility of what machines can do, while for others, they have been a source of fascination watched through movies like 2001: A Space Odyssey or the likes. Either way, the message has been clear and the same for decades, ‘The machines are coming for us. The only difference has been in how people will face it.’
While some experts swear by saying AI will take over jobs, others have confidently said, “AI will not take your job, but the person who knows how to use AI will.” If you are an HR leader from the latter category, this blog post is for you.
Ready to dive into AI skill development for your workforce today? Well, yesterday was already too late!
A quick search on Google asking the number of AI tools available worldwide will make the headline above stand true. You may find the forecast on how big the AI industry will grow in the future (Its value of nearly 100 billion U.S. dollars is expected to grow twentyfold by 2030, up to nearly two trillion U.S. dollars- Statista). Still, the answer to how many tools there are doesn’t exist. Why? Because there are that many of them, and there are many more to come!
So, suppose you have decided to start your workforce journey on digitalization, considering Kaufman’s theory of the ‘20-Hour Rule’ of learning, which states it takes approximately 20 hours of deliberate and focused practice to become reasonably competent in a new skill. In that case, an employee is still only reasonably competent and far from the expert level, which can take 6-8 months to reach. And by then, new AI tools are already waiting for them. Does that mean a life-long learning time (nothing against that), or do they also want to use their knowledge to create value for their work? Even worse, what if you are not an expert on AI skills and tools? Does that mean you will waste time learning a new skill just never to use it?
Move beyond being a jack of all AI skills and aim to be the master of the ‘right ones’
ChatGPT, as reported by Reuters in August 2023, boasts an impressive user base of 180.5 million.
We’re currently witnessing a surge in articles, blog posts, and videos that promise to unravel the secrets of utilizing ChatGPT for various HR functions. (Yes, we’ve even written about ChatGPT use cases ourselves.) And this trend is undeniably promising! After all, ChatGPT has the potential to liberate professionals from the tedious and time-consuming tasks of repetition, freeing up valuable resources. In this context, HR leaders have a unique opportunity to lead their organizations in integrating such AI tools into their daily operations and those of their workforce. However, while you are grasping the fundamentals of some AI tools, how about you combine them with a few other specific ones to achieve mastery in your tasks?
So, how does one ascend to this level of expertise?
Well, let’s break it down using two specific HR-related AI skills use cases, and rest assured, we won’t conclude without providing you with some tantalizing insights tailored to HR.
Grasp the concept of skills taxonomy
The looming cloud of automation has surely got organizations on an acceleration to begin upskilling their workforce. It’s an exciting endeavor, no doubt, with the promise of enhancing efficiency, productivity, and overall performance. However, a fundamental steppingstone can’t be bypassed — understanding skills taxonomy.
Skills taxonomy is the structural foundation that underpins an organization’s workforce capabilities. It’s akin to the essential cataloging of a vast library. HR signifies the categorization of skills, from the most technical data analysis to the most delicate interpersonal skills like negotiation and empathy. Take a look at the diagram below for a visual representation and a clearer grasp of the basic concept of skills taxonomy.
Why is this understanding of skills taxonomy a crucial starting point? Because it’s not just about honing AI skills; it’s about aligning these skills with your workforce’s broader spectrum of competencies. It’s about identifying the gaps that AI can fill and the areas where it can enhance human potential.
Read here how, with skills taxonomy, HR leaders will know the lay of the land — the skills their workforce already possesses and the skills they need to acquire with a clear, strategic purpose, aligning these skills with the broader capabilities of their workforce.
Let’s move to the HR-related AI skills we promised
In the diagram above, we can observe the hierarchical breakdown of job families, where the broader category, in this instance, Human Resources, is divided into subgroups such as HR instruments, training & development, recruitment, and HR management. This structure allows us to pinpoint the precise skills required for each subgroup.
When we consider job families, it’s evident that everyone in the HR department is expected to acquire a wide range of skills, regardless of their specific role. However, while having a comprehensive skill set is undoubtedly valuable, wouldn’t it be more advantageous for a recruitment manager, for instance, to focus on mastering AI skills that are directly relevant to their role? We know the answer, and we know it’s a yes. We even know what’s the next question. How? How does one know what skills are right and needed in the future? And in this case, specifically, what AI skills.
To determine the right and needed skills for the future, particularly in AI, HR leaders can rely on data-driven solutions like HRForecast’s smartPeople platform. This platform offers a range of features and insights that empower HR professionals to make informed decisions about skill requirements through skill assessment, detecting current skills gaps, forecasting future skill needs, and matching talents with the right positions, all with extensive labor market insights! After all, it’s only when you know the market demands and needs that you can develop the right pathway to meet them.
To provide a clearer understanding, we tasked our smartData team with identifying the specific AI-related skills required for recruitment specialists. Their analysis drew from a vast dataset, including over 500 million job postings annually, encompassing 8,000+ job titles in 24 languages, a skills library with more than 100,000 skills, data sources spanning 122 countries for comprehensive analysis, and access to 900+ job portals. Here are the findings.
We extended our inquiry to determine the AI-related skills essential for future training and development experts, and here are the outcomes.
While you may already be familiar with some of these skills, there’s a good chance that a few have come as a surprise. This approach allows you to combine general AI skills with a more targeted and specialized focus on skills that directly enhance your role and job function.
Conclusion: Not a call-to-action, but a wake-up call
The wake-up call was experienced in 2014 by Florian Fleischmann and Christian Vetter, the co-founders of HRForecast, when they learned about a substantial workforce reduction involving 2,000 employees within an organization. This revelation catalyzed their vision of establishing a sustainable HR management platform that leaves no one behind with the ethos of adopting an end-to-end mindset in business operations, focusing on the entire process rather than isolated phases. Every member of the HRForecast team follows the same ethos that revolves around the holistic understanding that business success comes from recognizing, valuing, and strategically managing the human element within the organization, with a focus on skills, adaptability, and personalized development.
On asking Judith Hoff, the Head of Business Development at HRForecast what the ultimate way of achieving success across the entire organization, and if it is just investments in digitalization or it’s people, she responded, “I get asked a lot by company leaders what is necessary to future-proof their organization’s success. My response to them is always to observe the company, and it becomes evident that it’s the people who contribute to the creation of products or solutions. It’s crucial to adopt an end-to-end mindset and prioritize the well-being of all employees. By assessing evolving skill requirements and understanding the organization’s needs in terms of capacities, a company can align these insights with their workforce’s capabilities. The key is to treat each employee as an individual, recognizing their existing skills and identifying their individual areas for development. Success is achieved by considering skills comprehensively and applying this approach to end-to-end planning across the entire company, rather than focusing on specific phases or areas.”
Suppose you are an HR leader who aligns with this ethos and aims to lead your employees through the challenges posed by AI with strategic planning. In that case, we invite you to schedule a consultation with our experts to understand how to initiate this journey.
For those uncertain about the AI landscape, we encourage you to connect with our experts for a wake-up call. This will provide you with a clearer perspective on your circumstances, ensuring you are well-prepared for the road ahead.